Best Secret Gardens in Sydney
Sydney isn’t short of natural wonders with a bounty of beaches, national parks and picturesque coastal walks. But what about the lesser-known spots, gardens and other hidden gems in Sydney? Whether you are a nature lover or simply looking for a quiet place to read or picnic in peace, this is our round-up of Sydney’s best secret gardens.
Lisgar Gardens, located in Hornsby, is one of the North Shore’s hidden treasures. Sitting on 6.5 acres of lush landscape, the gardens first opened in the 60s and are best known for their dazzling range of camellias with over 300 specimens and over 200 varieties. Lisgar Gardens is also home to a range of native and exotic plant species, with tranquil waterfalls, fish ponds and a rainforest walk. The perfect location for a laid-back afternoon picnic, with a gazebo perfect for special events and weddings.
Wendy’s Secret Garden
Located within Lavender Bay Parklands is one of the best Sydney hidden gems, Wendy’s Secret Garden—created by Wendy, wife and muse of renowned artist Brett Whiteley. The charming North Sydney secret garden, nestled behind Luna Park, offers a striking view of Sydney Harbour Bridge and meandering along the pathways, you will find a number of sculptures and artefacts strewn amongst the rich greenery. Soak up the serenity under the Moreton Bay Fig or enjoy a romantic picnic at one of the best secret gardens in Sydney.
Paddington Reservoir Gardens
These heritage-listed gardens in the heart of Paddington were once a vital water source in the 1800s. The reservoir has since transformed into award-winning Paddington Reservoir Gardens, inspired by the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The gardens, separated into two levels, combine old and new with a lower level featuring a stunning sunken garden, colourful graffiti and original brick, timber and iron fixtures. The upper level of green grass and lawn chairs provides the perfect spot to relax away from the busyness of Oxford Street.
Swain Gardens is one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets, with an unexpected location on a suburban street in Killara, on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. The landscape features English-style gardens in a beautiful bushland setting, set on over 8 acres of land. The upper level features a lush green lawn, often used for weddings, celebrations and special events. The lower garden area features BBQ facilities, picnic area and lawn, perfect for laidback family gatherings or picnics with friends.
Arthur McElhone Reserve
A secluded green haven in Elizabeth Bay, Arthur McElhone Reserve offers a quiet reprieve from the bustle of Sydney suburbia. Located in front of heritage-listed Elizabeth Bay House, the immaculate garden enjoys beautiful harbour views. The main feature of this small reserve is its winding fish pond and stone bridge, with plenty of spots to sit and while away the afternoon. With its central and scenic location, this lush reserve is also a popular spot for wedding ceremonies and events.
If you are planning a holiday to Sydney and looking for a moment of calm and serenity, these secret gardens offer a whimsical escape from the world. And if you are looking for the perfect stay in Sydney, Ovolo Woolloomooloo, located just 10 minutes from Arthur McElhone Reserve, offers 5-star accommodation with a range of luxury perks.